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Thread: Unfit To Serve

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Unfit To Serve

    The 25th Amendment to the Constitution reads in relevant part:

    Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
    Last Tuesday (2/26/2017), Former Pres. Obama gave a speech in which he declared Trump is unfit to serve.

    http://www.latimes.com/visuals/video/88017093-132.html

    Obama: Trump is 'unfit to serve as president' - LA Times

    He's hardly alone in that assessment.

    So, if this is true or could be true, what is the process of removal likely to look like?

    The Democrats in Congress began examining this question two weeks ago.

    Dem launches panel to review presidential removal procedures | TheHill

    It's uncertain exactly what the procedure would be, as there has never been a POTUS forcibly removed under the 25th as unfit. There have been POTUSES who were physically unable to serve, and their VPs served as Acting President while they lingered, but clearly that was different. JFK, for example, did not die immediately after being shot, and for that brief time, Johnson was Acting President.

    There's also the much thornier question of mental health. What standard would be used to measure the mental health of a POTUS in aid of determining whether he is no longer fit to serve? There are so many in the law: competent to handle his own affairs, competent to stand trial, legally insane, a danger to himself and others, and so on. None of them seems at all suitable for use in measuring the mental fitness of a POTUS.

    This is not impeachment. That's simpler (procedurally) than this.

    Your thoughts?
    Thanks from OHjulie, April15 and BitterPill

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    It's a trap AttusBlack's Avatar
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    Never happen

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    "Mr. Original". the watchman's Avatar
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    there doesn't have to be an actual diagnosis of a mental health illness. But, Pence would have set the ball in motion. Which is highly unlikely. It's just a vote. I think it's more likely Trump would be forced to resign under the threat of being removed from office. That would be if Republican's see that he's a threat to the party or their jobs only.
    Thanks from Madeline and Dragonfly5

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AttusBlack View Post
    Never happen
    Probably not, but it is still an interesting conversation. E.g., Reagan clearly was afflicted with Alzheimer's before he left office. Clearly, there was a "shadow president", most likely Nancy Reagan. Whether you approve of what she did (and I do not), the possibility of mental incompetence is not a mere hypothetical, especially now that newest fad seems to be nominating older and older candidates for POTUS.

    Trump is not a mentally healthy person, and never has been -- but he is deteriorating, and at some point, he COULD be so obviously deranged, he cannot possibly serve.

    What's Trump's Problem?

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the watchman View Post
    there doesn't have to be an actual diagnosis of a mental health illness. But, Pence would have set the ball in motion. Which is highly unlikely. It's just a vote. I think it's more likely Trump would be forced to resign under the threat of being removed from office. That would be if Republican's see that he's a threat to the party or their jobs only.
    Well, of course the PTB could force Trump to resign -- that's true of any POTUS. But what I am asking is what if the Congress tried to move forward, formally, under the 25th, to declare him unfit?

    Are you saying it would only be a matter of a majority vote? Of both houses, or just the Senate?

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    It's a trap AttusBlack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Probably not, but it is still an interesting conversation. E.g., Reagan clearly was afflicted with Alzheimer's before he left office. Clearly, there was a "shadow president", most likely Nancy Reagan. Whether you approve of what she did (and I do not), the possibility of mental incompetence is not a mere hypothetical, especially now that newest fad seems to be nominating older and older candidates for POTUS.

    Trump is not a mentally healthy person, and never has been -- but he is deteriorating, and at some point, he COULD be so obviously deranged, he cannot possibly serve.

    What's Trump's Problem?
    He was obviously healthy enough to pass the stringent mental and physical exam to hold the office to begin with. :SHRUG:

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    The second Republicans realize that Trump is destroying their party
    is the second they'll get Pence to begin invoking the 25th amendment.

    They like Pence and would be happier with him than Trump.
    Thanks from Madeline and leekohler2

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AttusBlack View Post
    He was obviously healthy enough to pass the stringent mental and physical exam to hold the office to begin with. :SHRUG:
    You mean he was elected so that's the end of the debate? I disagree. I think it is constitutional to force removal under the 25th for mental unfitness. Obviously, there could not be a whif of "we don't like your choices, so we're attacking you as crazy". And I doubt there would be. If that was the only moving force, the Congress would react with its usual stubbornness, or start impeachment proceedings.
    Thanks from EnigmaO01

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    "Mr. Original". the watchman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Well, of course the PTB could force Trump to resign -- that's true of any POTUS. But what I am asking is what if the Congress tried to move forward, formally, under the 25th, to declare him unfit?

    Are you saying it would only be a matter of a majority vote? Of both houses, or just the Senate?
    yes, essentially that's all it takes. There doesn't have to be any actual examination or diagnosis.
    Thanks from Madeline

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OHjulie View Post
    The second Republicans realize that Trump is destroying their party
    is the second they'll get Pence to begin invoking the 25th amendment.

    They like Pence and would be happier with him than Trump.
    I agree, and I think impeachment is just around the corner. Surely by this summer.

    My Op is a more academic one. IF Congress tried to remove as unfit, what would happen?

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